The Royal Canadian Mint is one of the world’s most prolific refiners of gold and silver. Operating two branch mint locations, the RCM’s Ottawa Mint is home to the products that investors care about most: gold bullion coins, gold bullion bars, and silver bullion coins. The Canadian Maple Leaf Series is a leader across the industry in all metals, but it is far from the only major silver bullion coin you ca purchase when shopping the mint. Below you can read more about the Canadian Maple Leaf and other series available at the Royal Canadian Mint.
Introduced in 1988, the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin is the official silver bullion coin of Canada. The coin was groundbreaking when it was first released as it became the first-ever .9999 pure silver bullion coin in the world. In keeping with the design trend set by its counterpart, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, the reverse of the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coin has always featured the sugar maple leaf design from Walter Ott on the reverse design element.
The obverse side of Canadian Silver Maple Leafs has undergone a few changes over the years, most notably the updating of Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy. In 1988 and 1989, the coin featured the second-generation Royal Mint of England portrait created in 1965 by Arnold Machin. In 1990, a new third-generation portrait was developed by Dora de Pedery-Hunt and became the first-ever bust of the Queen from a Canadian artist. This design was used until 2003 when the Susanna Blunt design was released. The current portrait in use on Canadian denominations, the bust from Blunt is the fourth-generation design, second-ever from a Canadian artist, and the first monarch portrait since the reign of King George VI to depict the monarch without a crown.
Other notable changes that have come to the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf largely focus on security enhancements and include:
In addition to the standard silver bullion version of the coin, you can regularly find the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf available as a colorized BU coin, a gilded BU coin with 24-karat gold layered on the sugar maple leaf, and in the popular Four Seasons Set.
If any mint could challenge the beautiful, wildlife-themed designs of the Perth Mint in Western Australia, it is surely the Royal Canadian Mint. Its Canadian Wildlife Series was its first collection of wildlife-themed coins aimed at providing investors with .9999 pure silver coins that had images of native wildlife from Canada and the broader North American continent. The six-coin series offered the following designs:
Each of the design releases was capped at a maximum mintage of 1,000,000 coins. The only real change to come to the series was in 2013. Emily Damstra took over designing the final two releases and the reverse design element gained a more distinctive border field around the central design element, whereas the original four issues had no distinctive break between the design and a border element.
Arguably one of the most popular wildlife-themed coins from the Royal Canadian Mint, Canadian Birds of Prey Series coins were so popular the series went through two iterations. In 2014-2015, the coins were released as traditional Brilliant Uncirculated coins. Starting in 2016, the Royal Canadian Mint re-released the four-coin series with reverse proof visuals for each design. This meant the coins were now available with frosted background fields and mirrored design elements.
Once again, the Birds of Prey Series had 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver per coin with a maximum mintage of 1,000,000 coins per design in the original series. The Reverse Proof Birds of Prey Series was much harder to get by comparison with a limited mintage of only 100,000 coins per design. The four designs featured in both series include:
Given the continued success and interest in wildlife-themed coins, the Royal Canadian Mint did something it does on a regular basis: introduce privy marks. The Wild Canada Silver coin series was a six-coin release of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins with small privy marks on the reverse that honored the animals from the original Canadian Wildlife Series. Each of the coins was released in the same order as the original collection with a small privy mark representing the wolf, grizzly, moose, cougar, wood bison, and pronghorn antelope.
Things were significantly different in this release for a number of reasons though. First and foremost, the mintage figure was nowhere near the 1,000,000 coins offered in the Canadian Wildlife Series. Instead, each privy-marked Silver Maple Leaf had a mintage cap of just 50,000 silver coins. Additionally, the coins were now struck in reverse proof with frosted background fields and mirrored design elements. The coins were released in the following order:
One new series the Royal Canadian Mint recently wrapped up production of was the Predator Series of silver coins. Another Brilliant Uncirculated collection, these coins featured many of the same creatures from previous collections, but with a much more dangerous focus on the lethality of these animals in the wild. The new Predator Series of silver coins was introduced at the World Money Fair in Berlin, Germany, on February 5, 2016.
As with many other silver bullion collections from the Royal Canadian Mint, this series includes a maximum mintage of 1,000,000 coins for each of the four designs, with each coin boasting 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver. More importantly, the mint rolled out new designs for each of the coins issued in this series. Even though many of these animals have featured on Canadian coins in the past, none were captured in this same manner. The designs in the series were released one per year in the following order:
The latest series introduced by the Royal Canadian Mint puts a true twist on its wildlife themes. Creatures of the North debuted in 2020 with the Kraken design and has a focus on animals that may, or may not depending on your personal views, exist in the world. Unlike other collections, this series uses 2 Troy oz .9999 pure silver coins to deliver stunning visuals and all of the hallmarks you’ve come to trust in Royal Canadian Mint coinage.
Each release has the laser-engraved maple leaf privy on the reverse as well as radial lines around the perimeter. The obverse features Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait by Susanna Blunt and radial lines throughout the entire background field. Also of note for this series is the Royal Canadian Mint’s use of “piedfort” coining. Rather than increasing the diameter to produce a somewhat thinner 2 oz silver coin, the RCM strikes a double-thick coin with the same diameter as a 1 oz silver specimen, but with 2 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver for a thicker, denser end product.
The Royal Canadian Mint is an unquestioned global leader in the production of commemorative coins. Whether it is one-time issues of Brilliant Uncirculated coins or varying small programs with proof and colorized proof visuals, the Royal Canadian Mint stands tall in this genre with more collections than you can count. Below is a list of some of the many programs that have featured at JM Bullion from the Royal Canadian Mint’s commemorative collections:
If you’re interested in owning Canadian silver coins, JM Bullion customer service can help you locate in-stock items and answer any questions you might have about these products. Please call us at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or email us directly.